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FOOD VAN

Since the early 2000s, Kehilat Nitzan has run a food van at various Melbourne locations providing meals and social connection for people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity. The food van began outside the Gatwick Hotel in Fitzroy Street using a Sacred Heart Mission van led by Henry Ser and Josh Arzt.

Seven years later we partnered with the Father Bob Foundation to use their van the 'Hope Mobile' to serve meals on Tuesday evenings at a park in Port Melbourne. Our volunteers would sit and chat with our guests as one big community meal. Many guests lived alone, did not work and may not have spoken to anyone for days. Our evenings gave them a chance to feel connected to a community and to each other, and to share their week with others.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the food van expanded to people living on the streets, in rooming houses and supported accommodation in St Kilda distributing sandwiches, sweets and fruit. Gersh Zucker was and remains instrumental in delivering food to the street’s initiative.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the food van expanded to people living on the streets, in rooming houses and supported accommodation in St Kilda distributing sandwiches, sweets and fruit. Gersh Zucker was and remains instrumental in delivering food to the street’s initiative.

In early 2021, we relocated to Alma Park in East St Kilda to continue serving our new guests, of whom about a third are Jewish. Regulars attend from nearby rooming houses as well as younger guests living in surrounding mental health support homes.

The food van teamed up with NCJWA (Vic) with their Golden Age program supporting older Jewish Russian residents in public housing. Activity packs and decorated gift bags were particularly welcomed in 2020 when residents were in isolation.

In 2021 we hosted thirty residents at Kehilat Nitzan for a model Seder run by Rabbi Sadoff. 

None of this would be possible without our dedicated and extraordinary volunteers. 

Please contact Deb Korman on 0418 559 800 if you are interested in joining the food van. We love having new volunteers join our incredibly special team❤.️           

Sat, 10 December 2022 16 Kislev 5783